MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - More than 600 people were taken into custody in ICE raids across Mississippi Wednesday. A day later, officials say hundreds were released.
Wednesday's raids were the largest single-state work-side enforcement operation in the nation's history.
"The hurt and how scared they get it reflects into the Memphis area as well, said Greg Diaz of Las Americas.
Diaz is talking about Mid-South families feeling the effects of Wednesday's raids in Mississippi.
"We had many families that immediately just came to the church and some even spent the night, honestly, because they did not know if this was a nationwide deal or what not and they're extremely afraid,” said Diaz.
ICE initially detained 680 people at seven locations.
Our sister station, WLBT, reports federal and state agencies executed multiple criminal search warrants for evidence related to federal crimes and administrative search warrants for those illegally present in the U.S.
"While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that, we are first and foremost a nation of laws,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
On Thursday, a Homeland Security spokesperson told the Associated Press, 300 of those detained were released, though specific details were not available.
"This is a reminder that the separation of families not only happens at the border. It happens throughout the country,” said Mauricio Calvo of Latino Memphis.
Leaders in the Memphis Latino community say the impact from Wednesday's raids reaches way beyond state lines.
"We're all inter-connected. We can no longer continue to believe that an incident just affects a certain pocket of the population,” said Calvo.
Their immediate plan is one of support.
"In time of need we will do whatever it takes so the families can stay together and be safe,” said Diaz.